The title of this post is taken from OldMan’s facebook status update for the weekend, addressed “dear novel writing”.
The past month has been insane – I have worked sixteen hour days, seven days a week to get novel#2 into a presentable state. I have done little of the stuff I normally do: housework, shopping, cooking, gardening, gym, hanging out with my homies. OldMan does what he can, but his work has been taking him away a lot this past month too. Not just to a shed at the bottom of the garden, like mine does, but to Athens, and London, and Stratford.
So the work/life balance has been somewhat out of kilter, the house has been in a mild state of chaos, the blog has been neglected, and I have been feeling guilty. Rubbish, innit.
On the upside: partly out of desperation, I suspect, LittleSon has taken up cooking in a big way. We have been treated to curries made with fresh spices, home-made pasta and bread, meringues and various soups, pies and casseroles.
On another upside: I was feeling very nervous about novel#2. Largely because it’s that tricky second novel. But now I have finished the second draft (which I am from now on going to call the first draft; the first draft is now called the zero draft, because no-one else will ever see it but me) I feel a lot more confident…
…ish. I still have these morbid dreams of AgentSimon calling me up in fits of laughter, saying ‘Very funny, Crouch. But when are you going to send me the real novel?’
Anyway, normal life is now resuming. Sort of. I’ve brought both sons to the Birmingham NEC so that they can go to the Gadget Show Live and I have slipped early into our rather luxurious cheap deal Hilton Metropole room and plan to spend the day working, reading and perhaps having a little sauna/steam and swim. I am aware that, very shortly I will be doing rewrites and edits of novel#2, and at the same time I need to start thinking about the next novel, so I’m going to take it a little bit easy for the next couple of days.
I think the problem with the way the last month has been was that I didn’t pace myself very well early enough on. I didn’t use my time as effectively as I could have, given that last year I was finishing off website design work for clients, doing Cuckoo edits and publicity and writing the new one. I didn’t really know how much time everything would take.
Now I do.
Time management on novel #3 one will be far better. There will be no last minute rush, I will work evenly and steadily over the year, being super-disciplined about just how much time I spend on each task. There will be no faffing about, no fannying around.